Nov 26, 2010

The Secret Lives of Princesses

by Philippe Lechermeier

My daughter and I have been waiting and waiting to read this book. Ever since I read about it on Bookfoolery and Babble, I knew I'd have to find this book for her. We've been on the waiting list at the library for what seems like ages, in the meantime playing a few puzzles on the princess site and wondering what all the secret princesses look like.

And now we know! The Secret Lives of Princesses is a beautiful, lavishly illustrated book featuring all the princesses you never hear about. The ones who like to sleep all day, or eat delicious goodies, or sneak around and spy on people. The ones who have rather ordinary tempers, get jealous or sad, are spoiled or even quite bratty- but have unique hobbies and beautiful bedrooms. It's easy to see yourself in one of these princesses, and the puns in their names made me giggle, even if my daughter didn't catch on to that part. Besides beautiful spreads illustrating each princess, there's a page showing the princesses' coat of arms, diagrams of castles, an extraordinary traveling elephant, descriptions of common princess pets, enchanted forests, gardens, and a mind-boggling map. This was my daughter's favorite page and she wanted to read every little description of every little dot but in the end we despaired of finding them all!

My favorite princess was the Eco Princess, who communes with birds, ties up her hair with tree vines, and like beetles. I also feel kin (of course) to Princess Paige who loves to read, but I'm not quite the writer she is! And I liked best the page about Princess Oblivia. Her face is so charming, and her plight so easy to sympathize with- I loose and forget things frequently, too. I also loved the illustration of the Princess-for-a-Day, a beautiful graceful one decked out like a dragonfly. My daughter's favorite princesses were Princess Oblivia ("she's the most beautiful") and Princess Quartermoon ("because her hair is so pretty").

Any little girl who likes princess is sure to fall in love with this book!

Rating: 4/5 ........ 92 pages, 2004

More opinions at:
A Year of Reading


bermudaonion said...

That sounds like such a great book - I just love the cover!

Jeane said...

The pictures inside are even more beautiful!

Romance Books said...

What a great idea for a book! I am a sucker for everything having to do with princesses and fairy tale! I will definitely have to check this one out. Thanks!

Jenny said...

I nearly got this for my little cousin for her last birthday, but then I was afraid I was playing too much into her princess-love and not enough into, I don't know, plucky regular girl protagonists. But reading your review, I think it could have been fine.

Jeane said...

Romance- I think you would love it!

Jenny- Definitely lots of regular-girl princesses in here. In fact, I'd say they're all tongue-in-cheek real little girls decked out like princesses. It's really so clever.

Stephanie said...

I'm so glad that you enjoyed this - it is definitely a gorgeous book!

Chandra said...

We really enjoyed this one too! I found it to be one that grows on you and one that will have great lasting power!